UK’s abolishment of slavery made many Brits obscenely wealthy

Britain’s colonial shame: Slave-owners given huge payouts after abolition | The Independent

The British government paid out £20m to compensate some 3,000 families that owned slaves for the loss of their “property” when slave-ownership was abolished in Britain’s colonies in 1833. This figure represented a staggering 40 per cent of the Treasury’s annual spending budget and, in today’s terms, calculated as wage values, equates to around £16.5bn.

Source: Britain’s colonial shame: Slave-owners given huge payouts after abolition | The Independent


The above revelation stands in stark contrast to the portrayals of the end of British participation in slavery on PBS’ series about Queen Victoria. I don’t expect that the YouTube link below will last long before being blocked, what I do hope will last long is new skepticism over PBS’ docudrama content.

 

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About Susan Chandler

Now-disabled interior/exterior designer dragged into battling conviction corruption from its periphery in a third personal battle with civil public corruption.
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11 Responses to UK’s abolishment of slavery made many Brits obscenely wealthy

  1. Susan, that is really interesting. Noting the 1833 date, I wonder if it lends understanding to the willingness of US Southern plantation owners to go to war in 1861. Maybe a property payout would have prevented the Civil War?

    • I don’t think so … just as I don’t think there’s a specific sum that Jeff Bezos would accept to thereinafter pay his workers a living wage and provide safe working conditions, stop squeezing his suppliers, stop finagling subsidies from states and the federal government, stop using products as loss leaders to kill off his competitors, etc. The Brits who accepted payoffs were already wealthy and continued to act then like Bezos acts now, and their heirs don’t seem to be losing sleep over the manner in which wealth came to them.

      • You are probably right. The lure of greater power, and the fear of losing the power you already have, is an irresistible temptation for most.

      • I’m hoping that the newest generation of voters in various nations are on to the schemes used to engineer the current wealth disparities, and up to the task of nonviolently dismantling them.

  2. In case WP readers are interested, the ‘Legacies of British Slave-ownership’ blog, which stems from the database and research referred to in the article above, is part of the WordPress.com community. With a click, we can follow its posts in the Reader stream: https://lbsatucl.wordpress.com/

  3. Su Leslie says:

    I actually learned about this for the first time today, watching an old episode of the genealogy programme ‘Who Do You Think You Are’. Apparently, slaves didn’t actually become free until six years after the Act was passed, and in the meantime, slave owners continued to reap the rewards of slave labour knowing they would also get a payout.

    • Synchronicity in play it seems, Su … I read the same information about the six additional year of servitude after I published the blog post and was absolutely disgusted. They assigned a euphemism to the unconscionable delay – apprenticeship or some such thing.

      • Su Leslie says:

        Yes; disgust is what I feel too. Actually that how I feel a lot of the time these days 😕

      • Wish I were able to do something to ameliorate your overall disgust like you do mine. Your photographs ground me, and it’s often already tomorrow where you are – indicating that there will be one. Seeing a new slew of doctors in hopes they’ll be able to get me well enough to design and renovate again, then perhaps I’ll be able to post pictures of making silk purses of sow’s ears, hinting maybe that your yesterday wasn’t disgusting worldwide.

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